Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

Otisville Vacation

May 7, 2019

Otisville Vacation

Business Notice:

Michael Cohen, Esq., former Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, is relocating to the federal enclave at Otisville NY, in leafy Orange County, for a 3-year residency. Please refer all future Donald Trump obstruction of justice proposals to William P. Barr, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001.

More:

“Michael Cohen, by Turns Lawyer and Witness, Becomes an Inmate,” Maggie Haberman, Ben Protess and William K. Rashbaum, New York Times

“As Cohen heads to prison, Trump is ensnared in more questions about possible illegal behavior,” Phillip Bump, Washington Post

“Hundreds of former prosecutors say Trump would’ve been charged with obstruction if he weren’t president,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

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Image (“Portrait of a Trump Lawyer”) by Mike Licht. Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

April 26, 2019

Maria Butina Sentenced to Prison

On  Friday, Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan sentenced admitted Russian spy Maria Butina to 18 months in prison. “I am deeply embarrassed,” said Ms. Butina.

The former American University grad student pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy against the United States, acting as an unregistered agent of the Russian Federation, and seeking to influence U.S. conservative politicians through the National Rifle Association.It’s a salacious spy story of sex, guns, money, and the National Prayer Breakfast, and it’s packed with oligarchsRepublicanslobbyistsTreasury officials and Kremlin connections, a saga spanning the globe from Siberia to South Dakota. Her older American lover, Paul Erickson, a GOP fundraiser and NRA supporter, is charged with fraud and money laundering in a separate case.

Ms. Butina, deemed a flight risk, has been imprisoned since her indictment in July. We hope she will be able to continue with her Tai Chi in prison.

More:

“Maria Butina, Russian who conspired to infiltrate conservative U.S. political groups, sentenced to 18 months,” Spencer S. Hsu and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

“Russian Agent Maria Butina Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison: ‘I Destroyed My Own Life,’” Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast

“Maria Butina is not a Russian spy, but a ‘spotter’: DOJ revives intrigue over gun rights activist,” Kristine Phillips, USA Today

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Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Florida: Biggest Health Care Fraud Ever

April 12, 2019

Florida: Biggest Health Care Fraud Ever

A Federal jury has found Florida health care network owner Philip Esformes guilty of running an 18-year, $1.3 billion Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme. He used some of the money to bribe the University of Pennsylvania basketball coach to get his son into Penn. If his son is pre-law, maybe the kid can help him with the fraud appeal.

Philip Esformes, a man of convictions. We reluctantly point out that this is the “largest health care fraud in U.S. history.” Every time we do that, some Florida Man is found pulling an even bigger scam.

More:

“Florida businessman convicted in $1B Medicare fraud case,” Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press

“Miami healthcare exec Philip Esformes found guilty of paying kickbacks and bribes,”Jay Weaver and David Ovalle, Miami Herald

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The Trump Foundation Christmas Party Is Cancelled

December 20, 2018

The Trump Foundation Christmas Party Is Cancelled

This week New York State Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced that she is euthanizing the rogue Donald J. Trump Foundation. The so-called nonprofit outfit was directly run by Donald Trump and three of his spawn. Rather than engaging in charitable actives,said the AG, there was a“shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation—including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more. This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests.” This included funding Trump Senior’s election campaign, promoting his businesses, paying off his legal obligations.

As Charles Blow observes, “How can a family that can’t run a charity run a country?”

More:

“Trump’s Crooked Foundation Dissolves, But Investigation Continues,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

Clinton Foundation exec mocks Trump Foundation closing amid legal trouble
BY Morgan Gstalter, The Hill

“What the Collapse of the Trump Foundation Tells Us About Donald Trump,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“Trump lashes out at New York attorney general who sued his foundation,” David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post

“Trump Foundation dissolves, but Trump abuses and pursuit of personal gain live on,” Noah Bookbinder and Norman Eisen, USA Today

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Magna Carta Caper

October 29, 2018

The Magna Carta Caper

In Wiltshire last week, a man was arrested for attempting to steal the 800-year-old Magna Carta on display at Salisbury Cathedral. The ancient document was unharmed, but its display case was heavily damaged. The criminal caper was foiled by Matt Delcambre, an American tourist from Louisiana, who tackled the hammer-wielding miscreant. “Back home he would have been hog-tied on the ground,” explained Mrs. Delcambre.

The alleged offender, free on bail, awaits his day in court, a right established by the Magna Carta.

More:

“Man Tried To Steal Magna Carta, 800-Year-Old Symbol Of The Law, Police Say,” Bill Chappell, NPR

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Image (“King John Adds a Digital Signature to the Magna Carta, 1215”)  by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

October 19, 2018

Trump Endorsed a Literal Attack on the Press

“Donald Trump has praised Greg Gianforte, the Congress member from Montana, for violently attacking a Guardian reporter, saying that someone who performs a body slam is ‘my guy.’

Trump described in glowing terms the physical assault that occurred on 24 May 2017 when Ben Jacobs, the Guardian’s political correspondent, was asking Gianforte a question about health care policy in the course of a special congressional election in Bozeman, Montana. The US president incited cheers and chants from a crowd of about 8,000 supporters on Thursday night when he said: ‘Greg is smart. And by the way, never wrestle him. You understand. Never.’

As the cheers rang out across an aircraft hangar in Missoula, Trump went on to say: ‘Any guy that can do a body slam … he’s my guy.’

Trump’s comments mark the first time the president has openly and directly praised a violent act against a journalist on American soil.”

— “Trump praises Gianforte for assault on Guardian reporter: ‘He’s my guy,'” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

In related news, PEN America is suing Mr.Trump in New York district court, claiming he “violated the First Amendment and his oath to uphold the Constitution,” a document which doesn’t consider the press to be the Enemy of the People.

More:

“Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing.” Suzanne Nossel, Politico

“Suing Trump for endangering the First Amendment,” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

“Yale Law clinic helps writers group file First Amendment suit against Trump,” Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Jamal’s Apple Watch

October 15, 2018

Jamal's Apple Watch
On Saturday, pro-government Turkish newspaper Sabah reported that Turkish officials have audio recordings of the torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a US-based Saudi journalist who went missing on October 2nd after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul and is presumed dead at the hands of a Saudi hit squad. The newspaper claims that Khashoggi recorded his own death on his Apple Watch and transmitted the audio files to his iPhone, held by his fiancée on the street outside the consulate.

That’s a memorable but unlikely story. Smartwatches connect to cellphones via Bluetooth, and it’s doubtful a signal could travel that far, and the likely recording app only transfers audio files after the watch wearer turns it off, a hard task for the deceased. If Turkish agents have such recordings, it’s most likely because they have the Saudi consulate bugged, and they spread the watch story as cover.

Mr. Khashoggi was a permanent resident of the U.S., so maybe the American ambassadors to Turkey and Saudi Arabia can look into the matter. Oh wait, President Trump still hasn’t appointed anyone to those crucial diplomatic posts.

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Lock Up Your Daughter’s iPad! Carlos Danger Is On the Loose.

October 10, 2018

Lock Up Your Daughter's iPad! Carlos Danger Is On the Loose

Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner (aka Carlos Danger) will exit prison early, leaving his fellow sex offenders behind (what an awkward last phrase).

More:

“Anthony Weiner to be released early from federal prison,” Matthew Choi, Politico

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Trump Family: Tax Scams All the Way Down

October 4, 2018

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The New York Times revealed a multi-million-dollar case of Trump family tax fraud last week. Poppa Fred Trump set up phony companies to funnel money to his progeny withour paying gift tax to the IRS — that is, to American taxpayers. He also routinely undervalued properties. Donnie Trump was “earning” $200,000 a year as a 3-year-old,  and was a millionaire by age 8. So much for the “self-made-man” myth. Donald Trump seems to have continued the chicanery with daddy’s money when he was full grown. No wonder he’s never revealed his personal tax returns, despite his campaign promises.

Times reporter Susanne Craig first looked at the financial papers of President Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, submitted to the Senate when she was nominated as a federal judge. An odd $1 million payment from a mysterious family-owned company stood out, and led to the Times investigation.

The charges were denied by a Trump family attorney, and of course Sarah Huckabee Sanders lied about them. President Trump called the Times story “old and boring,” but didn’t deny the story’s findings.Mr. Trump has been caught committing tax fraud before, and New York State tax authorities are looking into the new allegations.

More:

“Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father,” Russ Buettner, Susanne Craig and David Barstow, New York Times

“Fred Trump’s Tax Scheme Was Quite Impressive,” Matt Levine, Bloomberg

“Republicans Rigged the System to Enable Crimes Like Trump’s Tax Evasion,” Harry Cheadle, Vice

“Trump’s Shady Accounting Playbook for the Hyper-rich,” Annie Lowery, The Atlantic

“The Trump Family’s Tax Dodging Is Symptomatic of a Larger Problem,” John Cassidy, The New Yorker

“How Times Journalists Uncovered the Original Source of the President’s Wealth,” Melina Delkic, New York Times

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Brett Kavanaugh: Perjury?

September 7, 2018

When Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during 2004 confirmation hearings on his DC Circuit Court nomination, he said, under oath, that he had not seen confidential memos regarding the judicial nomination of William Pryor that were pilfered from Democratic senators by GOP staffer Manuel Miranda, and was not involved in Bush White House discussions about the Pryor nomination. Guess what was in the “committee confidential” emails released at 3AM on Thursday? An email about the Pryor nomination.

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